|Refined Travel through Intangible Heritage|
The Jinhua Culture, Broadcasting and Tourism Bureau announced the fifth batch of municipal intangible cultural heritage tourist attractions, including a total of 22 cities, like Zhuma Township in the Wucheng District; identifying 6 intangible cultural heritage theme towns, and 16 folk culture villages. According to statistics, Jinhua holds a total of 98 city-level intangible cultural heritage tourist attractions, including 32 intangible cultural heritage theme towns and 66 folk culture villages.
Here is reported the cultural charm of three municipal intangible cultural heritage sites.
Xiantan’s Heritage and Folk Customs
Next to Lanxi’s Bailu Mountain sits the alluring village of Xiantan, Nübu Subdistrict. In the fifth batch of municipal intangible cultural heritage sites, Xiantan is included as folk culture village. Dating back over 1200 years in history, the village was included in the second batch of traditional Chinese historical villages in 2013. Xiantan was home of the first grand councilor from Jinhua, Shu Yuanyu(舒元舆; died December 17, 835), and was also where the historical character of the Southern Song Dynasty Zhou Sanwei, famous and respected for his loyalty, lived in seclusion. In addition to the beauty of the natural scenery, the Yongling and Renshou pagodasconstitute equally attractive sights in the broad countryside.
The village presents several ancient buildings and two ancestral halls, which are now restored and well-preserved. In order to make full use of these historical buildings, the city of Lanxi established in the village bases to promote cultural activities like painting, tea culture, and local opera.
Last year, Chen Xiaohong and a few of her friends came to the village with their children. In one of the historical halls, they learned calligraphy and clay sculpture from a local master. Remembering this, Mrs. Chen said: “It was a great learning experience.” Not many clay sculptors are left among the villagers, and Zhou Yuelong is one of them. Master Zhou usually works on his sculptures either in the village or in the old streets of Nübu.
Traditional elements of intangible cultural heritage are everywhere in the village, including woodcarvings, clay sculptures, and handmade drums. In these two years, Xiantan has further discovered historical and cultural features of the local culture, and intangible culture is becoming a bright spot of local rural tourism.
Houwu Village and Master Hu’s Festival
Local celebrations on February 24 lit up the scene in the village of Houwu, Yongkang. Located 15 km from Yongkang, the village was founded during the Jiading years of the Southern Song Dynasty. With a history of about 800 years, the village now counts over 3900 inhabitants and is the homeplace of several talents.
The village seems to be protected by the nearby Pingshan (屏山 lit. Screen Mountain) mountain and spreads widely over the plain. From the Pingshan Mountain spring and flow two creeks, Diannan Creek and Lailong Creek. They both flow around the village, surrounding it, and merge into one on the northwest of the village, flowing into Yongkang’s largest river—Nanxi River.
Houwu records the most complete complex of historical buildings in Yongkang. The village preserves nearly a hundred of these buildings, among which are halls and dwellings of Song, Yuan, Ming, and Qing eras.
“The old village is basically a circle with a diameter of about 550 meters,” said villager Wu Fangxiao. Among them, it is a must to mention the Wus Ancestral Hall: The exquisite relief sculptures on the beams, brackets, and corbels of the ancestral hall are vivid. The original name of the ancestral hall, Xulun Tang (叙伦堂 lit. Assessing Normal Human Relations Hall) hangs on a tablet in the middle of the central hall. On the sides of the upper central hall, there are plaques of the ancestral titles and imperial examination results (Jinshi). More than 100 plaques hang around the outer corridor of the wing room, showing the rich tradition and glory of the Wu clan.
“The village counts more than 20 ponds of running water, some larger and some smaller; they serve both as fire prevention and civilian uses,” said Wu Fangxiao. And went on to say that the village was named as a traditional Chinese historical village in 2016 and has conserved traditional customs and local festivals.
Unique Features of She’s Culture
Zhong Zhongxian, a She native of Liucheng, Wuyi, sings about herself on a viral video on TikTok. Like her great-grandfather, grandfather, and father, Mrs. Zhong is an authentic descendent of She ethnicity and folk song. “Since I was seven years old, I have heard my grandparents singing,” said Mrs. Zhong. She continued saying that fewer and fewer people can speak the She language and sing the songs, “Most of our people don’t know much about our tradition.” Mrs. Zhong is also an extra-curricular tutor at Liucheng She Town Central Primary School. She teaches singing.
In addition, as an Intangible Cultural Heritage Town, Liucheng established the She Ethnicity Colored Ribbon Art Museum last year. The craft of colored ribbon incorporates unique ethnic characteristics into the craftsmanship. Ribbon weaving master Zhong Zhenlian has been doing it since the age of 12 with her mother. During the holidays, many tourists and students visit the art museum to learn She’s craftsmanship.
“The growth of tourism in Liucheng is taking advantage of cultural differences to create a cultural brand for characteristic festivals,” explained Lan Xiaochun, deputy director of Liucheng Development Office.
In recent years, in order to rediscover and protect local intangible cultural heritage, Liucheng has carried out a series of projects to promote unique folk activities, attract a large number of tourists, and put on display intangible cultural heritage elements. (By Xia Binting, photo by Tang Xuyu, translated by Marco Lovisetto, edited by Mariam Ayad)
Traditional celebrations in Houwu Village
Local traditional wedding (photo provided by Li Xiaotan)
近年来，为做好非遗资源的挖掘、抢救与保护工作，柳城镇政府开展了一系列工作，独特的民俗活动吸引了大量游客前来，非物质文化遗产的展示与传承已成为柳城旅游经济的重要内容。(记者 夏斌婷 唐旭昱 文/摄)